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MRAs: Let’s bring back torture devices for women!

Actual 16th century Scottish "Scold's Bridle."

When you think they can’t get any creepier, they do. Here’s a disturbing new Men’s Rights meme-in-formation I’ve recently run across.

In a late-December rant about anti-porn feminist Gale Dines, the self-proclaimed “Male Renaissance Agitator” who calls himself Fidelbogen wrote:

In olden days of rough village justice she’d have gotten the scold’s bridle, or the the ducking stool, or the stocks. And quite right.

A couple of days later, regular A Voice for Men commenter DruidV, perhaps inspired by Fidebogen’s post, made a strikingly similar suggestion on that site:

I urge all Men here to have a look at wiki’s description of what was commonly known as a scold’s bridle, or the Branks. For whatever foolish reason, this item was done away with some time ago. This invention to end Men’s suffering, needs to be brought back into public acceptance and application, post haste, imo.

So let’s take a look at the Wikipedia page he linked to and see just what exactly this “Scold’s Bridle” was:

A scold’s bridle, sometimes called “the branks”, as well as “brank’s bridle” was a punishment device used primarily on women, as a form of torture and public humiliation.[1] It was an iron muzzle in an iron framework that enclosed the head. The bridle-bit (or curb-plate) was about 2 inches long and 1 inch broad, projected into the mouth and pressed down on top of the tongue[2]. The “curb-plate” was frequently studded with spikes, so that if the tongue moved, it inflicted pain and made speaking impossible.[3] Wives that were seen as witches, shrews and scolds, were forced to wear a brank’s bridle, which had been locked on the head of the woman and sometimes had a ring and chain attached to it so her husband could parade her around town and the town’s people could scold her and treat her with contempt; at times smearing excrement on her and beating her, sometimes to death.

Emphasis mine.

I will be charitable and assume that both Fidelbogen and DruidV were joking. That is, they don’t literally want to strap women’s heads into ghastly torture devices, smear them with shit and beat them to death. They just think that the very notion is hilarious.

Whether the suggestions were made seriously or not, they’re still pretty hateful. Given that Fidelbogen was recently taken aboard as a regular writer for A Voice for Men, and that DruidV’s comment on that site got mostly upvotes (and no criticism) from the regulars there, would it be fair to call A Voice for Men the “underbelly of a hate movement?”

I’m not sure why that particular phrase popped into my head, but somehow it seems all too appropriate.

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Ponkz
Ponkz
10 years ago

Oh, I know, Pecunium. Lesson learned. I won’t bother engaging him in future. It’s clearly not worth my time or effort.

Like I mentioned, I tend to think well of everyone and that can lead to perhaps some naivety on my part sometimes (though I’m not completely stupid, I hasten to add!). I thought I could speak some sense to him because I had the naive idea that abuse victims would look out for and listen to one another and it’s disappointing to see how apparently wrong I am.

I didn’t really fully expect him to listen to me to be honest, but to find him wilfully misrepresenting me as a selfish attention seeker is beyond the pale. I’ll just ignore him in future and steer well clear of anything he posts in.

Toysoldier
10 years ago

Kyrie, let us quote Ponkz in full context:

I was sexually abused and raped as a child during the ages 8-10. It is only in recent years that I’ve started to talk about it and feel better about myself. I’ve suffered on and off with depression over the years and used to self-harm. I’m now in a place in my life where I’m a lot happier about myself and so feel more confident about speaking about it.

I say this because honestly TS makes me really angry. I really feel for him and the abuse he’s suffered, as I would any abuse victim I encountered. But the fact that he seems to completely disregard female victims – unless their abuser was female – in the name of his own personal vendetta against women in general and feminists in particular is disappointing at best and infuriating/ offensive at worst.

Hey, TS! I was raped too! By A MAN!!! I realise he was a bad man, so note that I’m not angry at men in general as a result of this! You cannot erase me or my experience, no matter how hard you try!

I’m a survivor too and honestly I have open arms for any fellow survivor no matter their who they are. But if my experience, what I went through, means fuck all to you because I’m female? In all seriousness, fuck you.

In short, Ponkz accused me of disregarding female victims solely because I talk about my experiences and those of other male survivors and then talking about how she feels about me doing something to her I did not do. I have gotten compassion before, so I know what it looks like. That was not it. Instead, it sounds remarkably like, “Wow, the fact that you’re hurting is so offensive to me! what about my feelings?!” You do not show compassion by attacking someone for talking about something you do not think is important, and you certainly do not do it by saying, “I feel for you, but…”

Toysoldier
10 years ago

Ponkz, you did not express sympathy. You attacked me personally and used my past to start it. I am quite used to feminists doing that, particularly when I write or say something they disagree with, so I am not offended, bothered, or surprised by your comments. However, just because I am not bothered by it does not mean I will tolerate it.

Since you stated that you are just starting to talk about your abuse, I assume you have not spoken to many abuse victims. Please allow me to offer some advice: before you say or write anything to abuse victim, ask how you would feel if that comment were directed at you. For instance, how would you feel if someone wrote your comments to me to you?

I did not “whine” to Manboobz. I responded to Kyrie’s comment that no feminist on this blog would ever write anything close to “Wow, the fact that you’re hurting is so offensive to me! what about my feelings?”, which you unfortunately did. I understand that you do not think you did that, however, having been on the receiving end of comments like that from feminists for almost a decade, I do not believe I am mistaken. To this point, if I were mistaken, I think you would have clarified your intent rather than claiming I called you selfish, saying that you will “think twice before disclosing,” or saying that you thought you could “speak some sense to” me.

You mentioned that you thought “abuse victims would look out for and listen to one another and it’s disappointing to see how apparently wrong I am.” I am disappointed that you never thought to apply that to yourself. Again, I hope that you will think about what you write to abuse victims before you write it and ask how you would feel is someone directed that at you.

And if you are in need of support or someone to talk to, might I suggest contacting RAINN. They have a list of local organizations that help female victims, and they may be able to help you find a support group or therapist in your area.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
10 years ago

Being abused does not give you a free pass on being a jerk TS. And your erasing other people’s pain is being a jerk.

forweg
10 years ago

You know, Davey Boy, magnifying a few lines from exceptionally long suicide note and obsessing over them, let alone smearing others for merely posting said note, is caricaturization in the name of demonization. Mocking? Maybe.

forweg
10 years ago

“forweg: It doesn’t matter what percentage of the manifesto was given over to Ball’s advocacy of terrorism. Ball wrote the manifesto, and killed himself, in what he made very clear was an attempt to inspire others to commit terrorism. That was the point.”

No, Ball killed himself because the courts wouldn’t allow him to see his own children, regardless of whatever “terrorism” he attempted to inspire.

“The new AVfM theme song says of Ball: “His death will not go in vain.””

And it should not. Everyone should bear witness to what feminist governance brings about.

“If Elam does not support Ball’s call for terrorism, why does he have the manifesto up on his “activism” page?”

Because the words of a man who self-immolated himself in protest of our anti-male society is of historical importance, and should be available to be read by all, even if some of those words are uncomfortable.

“If Elam does not support Ball’s call for terrorism, why has he not publicly disavowed it in clear and unambiguous terms?”

There is nothing to suggest Elam supports Ball’s firebombing quotes expect for people who are looking to dig up dirt on Elam by cherry-picking a few lines out of a 50 paragraph document.

Paul Elam posting Thomas Ball’s suicide note does not equate to Paul Elam agreeing with everything in that note. Is that difficult to understand?

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
10 years ago

How hard is it to say “I unequivocally refuse to support in anyway the idea that one should solve their issues with the currently American judicial system by blowing up any buildings or hurting anyone involved in it. If you have a problem with the system do something constructive like…”?

Seriously, how hard is it? It is not hard. I just wrote it. So your claim that Elam is not hunky dory with it is laughable at best.

Bee
Bee
10 years ago

“The new AVfM theme song says of Ball: “His death will not go in vain.””

And it should not. Everyone should bear witness to what feminist governance brings about.

“If Elam does not support Ball’s call for terrorism, why does he have the manifesto up on his “activism” page?”

Because the words of a man who self-immolated himself in protest of our anti-male society is of historical importance, and should be available to be read by all, even if some of those words are uncomfortable.

Frankly, as far as Ball’s form of protest and the so-called “anti-male society” and “feminist governance,” listen. We are talking about a person who, according to his own words, hit a child out of anger, was removed from his home by the police because of this act, “didn’t lift a finger” to save his marriage, and owed no more than $3K in child support at the time of his death. Which he could have borrowed to pay off. In his own words. And then he wrapped that story up in an anti-government, anti-woman screed so that people like you would believe that he had some greater goal in mind.

GOD, I really feel bad for the guy that he chose an incredibly painful, horrible death, but you know what? That doesn’t mean that he was right or that he had no choice or that society is against men. It just means that MRAs like hearing an MRM message from a guy who wanted to be a big martyr. Surprise.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
10 years ago

That’s the thing about Ball. The judge in his case was correct – if someone hits their kids, it’s not unreasonable to deny them custody if another, non-child-hitting parent is available. These guys want to act like he was denied the ability to see his kids just because he had a penis, but nope, that’s not what actually happened.

Kyrie
Kyrie
10 years ago

The idea that speaking of the part of the text that clearly advocate terrorism is “cherry picking” is very funny.

katz
10 years ago

The cherrypicking defense is great: if you ever fail to quote something in its entirety, it’s possible that you’re leaving out the part that says “Oh, by the way, this is all a big joke and I actually think the exact opposite.” So all you have to do is write a rambling screed too long to be quoted in its entirety, and voila, you’re immune to criticism!

Kyrie
Kyrie
10 years ago

I was quoted on someone’s blog! My life is complete.

Leah
Leah
8 years ago

what…the…fuck have I just been reading? “scolds bridle”…fuck, I should’ve listened the warning before reading too many posts on this blog. Some people are really, really scary…

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